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My husband has been tossing and turning in his sleep, and when he can’t sleep, neither can I.

Q. Dear Terry, “My husband has been tossing and turning in his sleep, and when he can’t sleep, neither can I. His doctor recommended a prescription sleep aid, but I want him to try something natural first. Is there anything that can help?” — Lois P., Jackson, MS.

A. Dear Lois, Sleep issues are often described as a “couple’s problem” because if one person isn’t sleeping, it generally affects both people in the relationship. On average we need 6-8 hours of sleep per evening because a lot of the body’s repair mechanisms are activated when we are in a deep sleep.

I’m glad to hear you want to try something natural because prescription sleep aids can have many side effects like changes in appetite, dizziness, daytime drowsiness, and upsetting our natural sleep cycle.

There are four botanicals I use for sleep because they are known for their ability to calm our minds and relax our bodies.

Lemon Balm is a lemon-scented herb that has been used medicinally for centuries. Lemon balm is an effective calming agent and mild sedative.

Lavender is another natural sleep aid. Long promoted for its effects on feelings of well-being, lavender flowers were commonly placed under pillows to help promote sleep. Scientific studies suggest that lavender oil works to relieve anxiety and is a mild sedative, increasing deep sleep.

Mandarin is traditionally used to help settle the nervous system and induce sleep. Mandarin peel is widely used to fight stress because of its exceptional soothing and calming effects. Scientists believe the compounds in mandarin peel, including limonene, work synergistically to promote relaxation and sleep.

Lastly, ravensara is a rainforest tree with very fragrant leaves, bark, and nuts. The indigenous people of Madagascar have used this tree as an all-around health tonic for centuries. I recommend ravensara leaf oil because of its powerful effects for relieving insomnia, reducing depression, and alleviating nervous tension.

I suggest a blend of mandarin zest extract, lemon balm leaf, ravensara leaf oil, and lavender flower oil. I would take 250-500 mg of this blend thirty minutes to an hour before bedtime.

Healthy Regards!

Terry . . . Naturally



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